Title:
Rotating maze board game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rotating maze board game including a random chance unit, a plurality of game piece tokens, and a plurality of game board units wherein each of the game board units includes a generally flat rectangular game board segment having a playing surface provided with a plurality of interconnected pathways having both numbered squares and blank squares wherein the interconnected pathways further include connecting squares formed at the midpoint of all four sides of each game board segment, such that all of the game board segments, etc., may be rotated in any direction relative to one another during the course of the board game.



Inventors:
Bjornson, Alvin L. (Mountain, ND, US)
Application Number:
09/756375
Publication Date:
07/11/2002
Filing Date:
01/08/2001
Assignee:
BJORNSON ALVIN L.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/00; (IPC1-7): A63F3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LAYNO, BENJAMIN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STURM & FIX LLP (Des Moines, IA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A rotating board game comprising: a plurality of game board units wherein each game board unit includes a generally flat rectangular game board segment having a playing surface provided with a plurality of interconnected pathways wherein each of the plurality of interconnected pathways has portions which are adapted to be aligned with portions of the plurality of interconnected pathways formed on the playing surface of the other game board segments a plurality of game piece tokens; and a random chance unit.

2. The board game as in claim 1, wherein each of said pathways comprises a plurality of game squares.

3. The board game as in claim 2, wherein said plurality of game squares includes at least in part: blank game squares.

4. The board game as in claim 2, wherein said plurality of game squares includes at least in part numbered game squares.

5. The game board as in claim 2, wherein said plurality of game squares includes both numbered and blank game squares.

6. The board game as in claim 5, wherein said random chance unit includes a single die.

7. The board game as in claim 1, wherein each of the four sides of each of the generally rectangular game board segments has a portion of selected ones of said plurality of interconnected pathways which intersect the midpoint of each said four sides.

8. The game board as in claim 7, wherein at least one of the game board segments has a plurality of starting pathways extending inwardly from one of the four sides of said at least one game board segment.

9. The board game as in claim 8, wherein each of the game board segments is provided with a directional arrow.

10. The board game as in claim 1, wherein the plurality of interconnected passageways on each of said game board segments are arranged such that the plurality of game board segments can be rotated relative to one another and still define a continuous pathway from the first game board segment to the last game board segment.

11. The board game as in claim 10, wherein each of said pathways comprises a plurality of game squares.

12. The board game as in claim 11, wherein said plurality of game squares includes at least in part blank game squares.

13. The board game as in claim 12, wherein said plurality of game squares includes at least in part numbered game squares.

14. The board game as in claim 10, wherein, each of the four sides of each of the generally rectangular game board segments has a portion of selected ones of said plurality of interconnected pathways which intersect the midpoint of each of said four sides.

15. A method of playing a board game having a random chance unit, a plurality of game piece tokens, and a variable maze comprising a plurality of game board units which are movable relative to one another wherein each of the game board units includes a generally flat rectangular game board segment having a playing surface provided with a plurality of interconnected pathways formed by game squares wherein a portion of said plurality of interconnected pathways terminate proximate the midpoint of each of the sides of the respective game board segments comprising the steps of: a) aligning the plurality of game board segments in an initial orientation to define an elongated pathway that extends from the first game board segment to the last game board segment at the beginning of the game; b) employing the random chance unit to provide each player with a variable value that will determine how far along a chosen pathway among the plurality of interconnected pathways that a player can advance their chosen game piece token; and c) assigning values to a first group of selected game squares that allow a player, whose game piece token lands on one of said first group of selected game squares, the option to rotate the game board segment that the player's token rests upon a quarter turn in either direction.

16. The method as in claim 15 including the step of: a) assigning values to a second group of selected game squares that will temporarily terminate the advancement of a player's game piece token along a chosen pathway.

17. The method as in claim 16 including the step of: a) assigning values to a third group of selected game squares that will reverse the position of a player's game piece token along a chosen pathway.

18. The method as in claim 17, including the step of: a) assigning values to a fourth group of selected game squares that will advance the position of a player's game piece token beyond the said fourth group of selected game squares along a chosen pathway.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO MICROFICHE APPENDIX

[0003] Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0004] 1. Field of the Invention

[0005] The present invention relates to the field of board games in general and in particular to a board game that employs multiple game boards whose positions relative to one another are varied during the playing of the game.

[0006] 2. Description of Related Art

[0007] As can be seen by reference to the following U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,674,753; 5,333,878; 4,057,253; and 5,799,941, the prior art is replete with board games having a maze theme.

[0008] While all of the aforementioned prior art constructions are more than adequate for the basic purpose and function for which they have been specifically designed, they are uniformly deficient with respect to their failure to provide a simple, efficient, and unique type of maze board game that involves multiple interrelated game boards whose position relative to one another can be varied during the course of the game.

[0009] Up until the present time, it is believed that no one has ever developed a board game wherein the physical relationship of distinct playing surfaces is shifted to provide an advantage to one player and an unexpected disadvantage to the other players.

[0010] As a consequence of the foregoing situation, there has existed a longstanding need among board game afficionados for a new and improved board game having multiple interrelated game board segments which can be rotated relative to one another to produce advantages and challenges to the people playing the game; and, the provision of such an arrangement is the stated objective of the present invention.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] Briefly stated, the rotating maze board game that forms the basis of the present invention comprises in general a plurality of game board units, a plurality of game tokens, a random chance unit and rules governing the movement of the game tokens on the respective game board units based on the outcome of the random chance unit.

[0012] As will be explained in greater detail further on in the specification, each of the game board units includes a generally flat rectangular game board segment which is intended to be aligned in an end to end fashion with the other game board segments.

[0013] In addition, each of the game board segments has a unique maze pattern imprinted thereon wherein portions of the maze pattern on each game board segment intersects the midpoint of each side of the individual game board segments. This arrangement is necessary to insure that when a game board segment is rotated a quarter turn in a chosen direction during the course of the game, that there will be a continuous maze pathway that extends from the first game board segment to the last game board segment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] These and other attributes of the invention will become more clear upon a thorough study of the following description of the best mode for carrying out the invention, particularly when reviewed in conjunction with the drawings, wherein:

[0015] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of all of the components that comprise the board game at the beginning of play;

[0016] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of showing how the alignment of the game board segments might appear during the corse of the play;

[0017] FIGS. 3, 3A, 3B, and 3C are top plan views of the maze pattern that might appear on the respective individual game board segments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0018] As can be seen by reference to the drawings, and in particular to FIG. 1, the rotating maze board game that forms the basis of the present invention is designated generally by the reference number 10. The board game 10 comprises in general a plurality of game board units 11, a plurality of game tokens 12 and a random chance unit 13. These components will now be described in seriatim fashion.

[0019] As can be seen by reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, 3A, 3B and 3C, each of the game board units 11 comprises a generally flat rectangular game board segment such as 20 having a playing surface 21 provided with a plurality of interconnected pathways 22 wherein each pathway 22 is provided with a plurality of numbered 23 and blank 24 squares whose purpose and function will be described in greater detail further on in the specification.

[0020] In addition, each of the game board segments 20 is provided with a directional arrow 25 and an identifying legend 26 which governs the initial line up and sequential alignment of the individual game board segments 20, 20′ and 20″ and 20′″ at the beginning of play.

[0021] It should also be noted that each of the game board segments 20, 20′ etc., pathways 22 which terminate at the midpoint designated as 27 of each of the four sides of each game board segment 20, 20′ etc., such that a continuous pathway 22 will be maintained from the first game board segment 20 to the last game board segment 20′″.

[0022] Turning now in particular to FIG. 3, it can be seen that game board segment 20 bears the legend 26 “mazeboard 1,” which indicates that this is the first game board segment 20 to be used in the alignment of the game board units 11 as depicted in FIG. 1; wherein, the directional arrows 25 on the successive game board segments 20′, 20″ and 20′″ are all aligned with the directional arrow 25 on game board segment 20.

[0023] It should also be noted that game board segment 20 also differs from the remaining game board segments 20′, 20″, 20′″ in the respect that this first game board segment is further provided with a plurality of starting pathways designated generally as 28, 29 and 30 which intersect a portion of the pathways 22 disposed adjacent thereto. This is to allow the individual players to select an initial starting square 28′, 29′, 30′ from which to gain access to the maze pathways 22 to advance their individual game piece tokens 12 based on the roll of the die 13.

[0024] As can also be seen by reference to FIG. 1, the random chance unit 13 for the purposes of this invention comprises a single die 50. However, it is to be understood that for the purposes of this invention, other random chance units 13 such as spinners, playing cards or the like can be substituted therefore.

[0025] All players start the game with their game piece tokens off the board, the blank on a start pathway counts as one space. Players may move any direction to try to land on a six (except backward on their own trail). All players may change directions on a rotation, including the player who made the rotation. Players are allowed to share any space landed on. There are three pathways at the beginning of board number one. Any player may choose any one of the three start pathways. The number one board may not be rotated until all players have started and are on the board. Additionally, until all players have started, the six spaces count as a free roll at that time only. After all players are on the board, the six spaces are used as a rotation only, if a rotation is not desired, the next player rolls. A player may only rotate the game board segment that the player is on. The segments are only rotated on a six space, when a game board segment is rotated, it can only be moved one-quarter of a turn (one side or the other) left or right. This means that either the left or right connecting pathway 27 will be chosen to connect to the connecting pathway of the next game board segment in the line-up. There are five space numbers on the pathways and also blank spaces. All other numbers 2 through 6 refer to the game operation rules.

[0026] The die may be used to indicate the starting order of the players. The outcome of the game is determined by luck and decisions of the players and as provided by the rules. The object of the game is to race through the four game board segments and get to the end of the last board segment first (i.e., Game Board Number Four).

[0027] One of the ideas of the game is to try to get on a rotation space in order to block other players from crossing to the next board segment and thereby gain an advantage through that particular positioning board segment to move the other players away from the next exit and yourself closer. The game is over when one of the players exits the end of the last board segment.

[0028] A player rolls the die and advances the amount of spaces 23, 24 that the top of the die indicates. For example, if the die shows four, the player will advance four spaces and then is subject to the rule that corresponds with the number indicated by the game space 23 or 24 landed on. If a player gets a penalty or moves backward on an unconnected out pathway, then the rule is that the player can only go to the last available space, no matter how many spaces back the penalty say to go. Once started, the pieces may not leave the boundaries, except at the connection points to the other maze boards or at the finish.

[0029] Once a direction is taken, a player may not move backward on that pathway 22 unless the board is rotated by one of the other players or unless the player moves backward on a penalty move and the game piece goes past an intersection, then the player may choose another pathway when their next turn to roll is due.

[0030] All pieces must progress toward the connection points of the board until the first person crosses the finish. Players are allowed to share any space landed on. There are three starting pathways at the beginning of the game. (Board No. 1). The beginning board game segment cannot be rotated until all players have rolled the die and are on the board. If a starting player lands on a rotation space before all other players are on the board, then that rotation space will be considered a free roll or roll again until all players are on the board.

[0031] The board segments may only be rotated when a player lands on the number six space. When a board segment is rotated, it is moved one-quarter of a turn either to the left or to the right. This means that either the left or the right connector pathway 27 will be chosen to connect to the entrance trail of the next progressive board segment in line.

[0032] The rules that govern the playing of the board game 10 are as follows:

[0033] Rule No. 1—relates to an unmarked or blank square 24. No forward or backward movement and no board rotation. If a player lands on an unmarked open space, the player stays and the next player rolls.

[0034] 2. Penalty Space—Relates to a player landing on a board space 23 marked with the number two. When this happens, the player rolls again and moves backward the number of spaces on the die and stays. The player stays on the same pathway he/she was on during regression and does not switch pathways. If the backward movement goes past an intersection, then the player may switch pathways 22 when his/her turn comes up again for forward progression or if a rotation has occurred on another player's turn. In addition, if a player happens to be on an unconnected pathway and the die indicates more spaces to go back than there are on the pathway, then the player goes to the last available space and stays. The next player rolls. A player's piece only leaves the board boundaries when crossing to another board segment or exiting the furthest end of the last board segment to win the game.

[0035] 3. Free Roll—If a player lands on a board space 23 marked with the number three, the player rolls again and advances the number of spaces shown on the die. The player then continues according to the rule governing the number shown on the spaces landed on until play movement ends. The next player rolls.

[0036] 4. If a player lands on a board space 23 marked with the number four, the player rolls again. If the die shows a one, two or three, the player stays and the next player rolls. If the die shows a four, five, or six, the player rolls again and advances the number of spaces shown on the die and continues according to the rules of the number space landed on until movement ends. The next player rolls.

[0037] 5. When a player lands on a board space 23 marked with the number five, the player rolls again. If the die shows a one, two or three, it is a regression on the same pathway that the player is on. This is considered a penalty move and no other pathways may be taken on any penalty move. The player goes back three spaces behind the five space. When the forward progression resumes on the player's next turn, then another pathway may be taken, if desired. If the player rolls four, five or six, it is a progression move and the player moves forward three spaces and stays. Only spaces that are blank 24 are available to land on under the number five rule, either forward or backward. When moving forward, any pathway may be chosen as long as it is three spaces ahead of or to the left or right of any connecting pathway from the five space. The next player rolls.

[0038] 6. Board Rotation Space—Relates to the movement of the game board segment that the player is presently on only, not any of the other board segments. If a player lands on a space 23 with the number six, the player may rotate the board segment one-quarter of a turn either to the left or to the right to mate the next progression side to the connecting edge of the next progressive board segment in line. Also, the player may elect not to rotate the board. In this case, the next player rolls. The number six space is only a free roll, when it is encountered at the beginning of the game before all players have started. After any board rotation, any player, including the one that made the rotation, may change to any direction desired. The next player rolls.

[0039] Although only an exemplary embodiment of the invention has been described in detail above, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of this invention. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of this invention as defined in the following claims.